It probably surprises no one that Mad Gringo is nt a fan of winter. After all, Mad is a product of sun, surf and sand, and winter is about as far from that as one can get. But it isn’t all bad. Before moving to Fremoahu, Mrs. Gringo and I did, after all, live in Buffalo, New York, arguably the snow capital of the lower 48. And we’ve always said (sometimes with an arm twisted behind our backs) that every place has its charms.
But the charms of winter are definitely NOT the subject of this post. It is, instead, about the loathsome characteristics of winter, the ones that have my Inner Mad Gringo checking ticket prices to Tahiti. And while my list of winter revulsions could be nearly endless, the ones below are top of mind…
The Mad Gringo has a great aversion to cold. This started more than a decade ago when a “fun” climb in the mountains resulted in a mild case of hypothermia. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Mad Gringo after a walk to the mailbox
The Mad One knows all about wind chill. Here in the Great Plains, we have wind in extraordinary abundance, and, alas, the windiest months are during the dead of winter. The combination of frigid air and gale-force wind could actually make you… uh,… dead, if you hang out in it too long. Just contemplating stepping outside is a cruel act.
What’s a little sub-zero temperature and fifty mile per hour gust between friends?
Couldn’t the government simply declare a moratorium on the increasing hours of darkness (kinda like they do with daylight savings time)? You would not find Mad Gringo objecting to the requirement for fourteen hours of sun each day during the winter. Do I hear sixteen hours? Come on, people, let’s get this done!
3 PM mid-January in Fremoahu.
4. Anything to do with driving.
Scraping windshields, hitting hidden potholes, a car so dirty you can’t read the license plate – those are bad enough. Add to them that sinking feeling every time your gas gauge nears “E” and the utter stupidity of our fellow drivers, and you have what is possibly the worst of all winter experiences. Sheesh, learn to drive on the snow folks!
Typical winter car appearance six minutes post-wash.
Fortunately, I don’t do much of this myself (instead, I pay to have it done, thank heavens), but the little I do absolutely sucks. Best reason ever to have a teen – if you can bribe or browbeat them into shoveling, that is.
Our plowing/shoveling service is bargain priced. Can you tell?
6. The power/heat bill.
We have a heat pump as there is no gas line reaching the remote corner that is Mad Beach. As a result, the winter heating bill can be eye-popping. Haven’t yet cracked four figures this year, but it is undoubtedly just a matter of time…
Annual scene after receiving the January power bill.
7. Bulky winter clothes.
Mad Gringo layers to live, rather than living to layer. He loves nothing more than relaxing in a lounge chair in shorts, a cool MG tee, and slippahs, while listening to the sounds of waves gently lapping on Mad Beach. Those threads just don’t cut it during winter.
8. Dogs that can’t make up their minds.
Perhaps my dogs are dumber than most. They look outside, spot a lick of sunshine, and think, “Hey, it looks nice out there. Let me out, damn you!” Ninety seconds later they are barking at the door. This same routine repeats itself about twenty-seven thousand times a day. Come on, guys, get a clue! It’s cold out there.
I told you to stay inside.
9. Snow covering Mad Beach.
This simply offends my sensibilities. Mad Gringo lives on a lovely, rural lake, one with beautiful beaches and a lovely sandy bottom (don’t get any wrong ideas based on my flowery, descriptive phrases). The presence of snow on the sand is just… wrong. Go away stupid white stuff, damn you!
Go sully someone else’s beach.
Of course, I know winter will eventually recede. Spring will arrive and all will again be right with the world. But why does it have to take sooooo looooong?!
Whine complete. Please return to your regularly scheduled activities and pastimes.